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Linguistic classification of English consonants.
According to the degree of noise English consonants are divided into two classes:
noise consonants and sonorants. In the production of noise consonants there is a noise component characteristic. Noise consonants vary in the work of vocal cords.
Accordind to the work of vocal cords they may be voiced and voiceless. When the vocal cords are brought together and vibrate we hear voice like in the pronunciation of the sounds [b, d, g]. If the vocal cords are apart and do not vibrate we hear only noise and the consonants are voiceless, like [p, t, k]. Sonorants are made with tone prevailing over noise because of a rather vide air passage [m, n, ŋ].
The manner of articulation is determined by the type of obstruction, which may be complete or incomplete.
According to the manner of articulation and the type of obstruction consonants are divided into three groups:
Occlusive (plosives) – air stream meets a complete obstruction in the mouth cavity [b, d, g, p, t, k, m, n, ŋ].
Constrictive (fricatives) - air stream meets an incomplete obstruction in the mouth cavity, air passage is constricted [v, ð, z, Ʒ, f, s, h, ʃ, θ, w, l, j, r].
Occlusive-constrictive (affricates) – complete obstruction which is slowly released, the air escapes with a friction [dƷ, tʃ].
According to the place of articulation consonants may be:
1. Labial – made by lips. They may be bilabial (both lips are active [p, b]) and labio-dental (lower lip against the edge of the upper teeth [f, v]).
2. Lingual consonants can be:
Forelingual (tip of the blade of the tongue). Forelingual can be interdental (tip og the tongue between the teeth [θ, ð]), alveolar (tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge [t, d]), post-alveolar (tip of the tongue against the back part of the alveolar ridge [r]), palato-alveolar (tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge [ʃ, Ʒ].
Mediolingual (front part of the tongue. They are always palatal [j]).
Backlingual (back part of the tongue raised towards the soft palate [k]).
3. Glotal – articulated in the glottis [h].
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